The State Bar of California

Domestic Violence & Restraining Orders

Family Law Attorneys Advocating for Residents of Alameda County Domestic Violence & Restraining Orders

When a household involves violent or dangerous behavior on the part of one or multiple parties, the non-violent members of the household may need more than just a divorce to ensure their safety and protection. California domestic violence laws provide many legal protections to victims of domestic violence or members of a household that involves domestic violence. At MacKenzie & Associates, our Alameda County domestic violence lawyers have assisted many Hayward and East Bay residents with seeking a restraining order or with other family law needs.

Domestic Violence Law in California

Under California law, domestic violence is defined as behaviors involving abuse or threats of abuse between individuals who currently are or who have been in an intimate relationship. This relationship involves married couples as well as domestic partners and couples who have been dating. It also includes individuals who have lived together or who share a biological child. Domestic violence also covers abuse or threats of abuse between individuals who are related by blood or through marriage.

In addition to defining the relationships to which they apply, California domestic violence laws are specific with regard to the acts of abuse that fall within their parameters. Obvious examples like physical harm and sexual assault are included, as well as actions that make the recipient reasonably afraid that they or another person are likely to suffer imminent serious harm. These physical actions include hitting, shoving, kicking, hair pulling, and throwing items. The threats of abuse extend to people as well as family pets. Finally, stalking, threatening, harassing, and hitting, as well as the destruction of personal property or the disturbance of someone else’s peace, are considered abuse for the purposes of a domestic violence action.

Seeking a Restraining Order

In general, a restraining order issued in a domestic violence situation consists of a court order that provides protection for the victim of the abusive conduct. The party seeking the court order must prove two factors in order to be eligible for a restraining order. First, the party must show that the subject of the potential restraining order has abused the party or threatened to engage in abusive acts toward the party. A domestic violence attorney at our Alameda County firm can help you gather evidence regarding this point.

Second, the party must establish that they have a close relationship with the subject of the potential restraining order that falls within California’s domestic violence laws. Additionally, California law allows a parent to pursue a restraining order on behalf of a child who may be experiencing abuse or threats of abuse. If the child is at least 12 years of age or older, the child may seek a restraining order without parental consent or involvement.

If you are not eligible to obtain a domestic violence restraining order, there are a few other legal remedies that may provide similar legal protections. A civil harassment restraining order is used for individuals with whom you may not have a close relationship, like neighbors, coworkers, or distant relatives. Also, an elderly individual or dependent adult may seek a specific type of restraining order. An elderly person is someone who is 65 years of age or older, while a dependent adult is anyone between the ages of 18 and 64 who meets the dependent adult criteria. Finally, a workplace violence restraining order provides protections from harassment, stalking, or violence related to employment.

Contact a Diligent Domestic Violence Lawyer in Alameda County

If you are dealing with abuse or threats of abuse in the home, or from someone with whom you are in a close relationship, you may be eligible to obtain a restraining order. Although there is nothing that can compensate you for the pain and stress that you have endured, the restraining order may provide some protection when it comes to future events. On the other hand, there also may be situations in which a restraining order is being improperly sought, and a strong defense against it is appropriate. At MacKenzie & Associates, our Alameda County domestic violence attorneys have counseled people in Hayward and many other East Bay cities. To set up a free phone consultation with a divorce lawyer, call us at (510) 537-7200 or contact us online.

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